Realising that the r-word is not a laughing matter

I never was someone who openly said the r-word in order to shame or insult another human being. But I would occasionally laugh or join in with a joke if someone else mentioned it. I used to think that the r- word was just another 'slang' or 'cool' word. However, one day I joked about the 'retardation factor' which we had been learning about in school. With a fellow pupil. I told them with the hope that they would laugh too. Instead of a laugh I got silence and a clearly upset face. Then my friend said that his auntie had learning difficulties and that he felt like punching me! I was shocked and guilt rushed through me. I immediately apologised for my insensitivity but a guilty and regretful conscience prevailed. This was the first time I had really considered what the r-word meant to other people. Now I have stopped using the word as well as categorising people with disabilities into a 'stupid group'. I hope that eventually the r-word will be scrapped from colloquial use.

About Me:

A changed person who wants to help campaign for the elimination of the r-word from everyday language.